Home Finance Shocking graph reveals how much olive oil prices have surged across Europe

Shocking graph reveals how much olive oil prices have surged across Europe


The full scale of the increase in the cost of olive oil has been revealed in this shocking new graph.

The latest rate of inflation on olive oil is put at 50.4 percent in the year to February, according to experts at Eurostat.

At the same time, the average price of a bottle on UK supermarket shelves is up from £5.41 to £7.86 – up 45 percent – according to figures collated by The Grocer using Assosia data.

The shocking increases means some brands are now more expensive than wine, forcing some shoppers to stop buying the staple ingredient of Middle Britain households.

Some big brands are being priced at as much as £13.50 for a litre bottle, while specialist products are selling at £22.

A combination of extreme weather, including heatwaves, water shortages and floods, across Mediterranean countries have hit supplies and driven up prices.

Such is the scale of the price rise that many households are effectively boycotting olive oil.

Bosses at one of the world’s biggest brands, Filippo Berio, say UK consumption has fallen by around 15 per cent.

A one litre bottle of Filippo Berio Extra Virgin Olive Oil 1 Litre is now an astonishing £13.85.

Some branches of Waitrose are selling smaller 500ml bottles of Margues de Valdueza Extra Virgin and Terre di San Vito Extra Virgin (500ml) at £22.

The prices are now so high that criminal gangs across the Continent are turning to olive theft.

And in many regions of Spain, thefts have surpassed those of ‘ibérico’ ham, cured cheeses and alcohol.

Supermarkets have been chaining large five-litre bottles of olive oil together and padlocking them to shelves to prevent theft.

Concerns about theft have spread to the UK with some stores putting bottles of olive oil in plastic security cases, which have to be unlocked.

For example, the Co-op on Sprowston Road in Norwich, has had to put £7.50 bottles of the oil into locked security cases.

Chief executive of Filippo Berio, Walter Zanre, told The Grocer: “People are leaving the category, and the concern is that the consumption isn’t going to come back when the next big harvest happens.”

He admitted that even he would understand consumers balking at paying the high shelf prices being demanded.

Mr Zanre said many shoppers appear to have rejected olive oil completely rather than trading down to cheaper supermarket brands. As a result, sales of these own-label olive oil are down by more than 20 per cent in a year.

The most recent harvest in Spain showed a small increase, however other producers in Italy and Greece are below expectations.

Harvir Dhillon, economist at the British Retail Consortium, said: “Olive harvests have been badly affected by weather conditions in several Mediterranean countries, including Spain, where the UK gets most of its supply.

“This has reduced the supply of olive oil, increasing prices. Weaker exchange rates have further increased the cost of importing olive oil.”

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